"Nothing real can be threatened. Nothing unreal exists.
Herein Lies the peace of God."
A Course in Miracles
TEXT

CHAPTER 10
God and the Ego

III. The Willingness for Healing

16 If sickness is separation, the will to heal and be healed is the first step toward recognizing what you truly want. Every attack is a step away from this, and every healing thought brings it closer. The Son of God has both Father and Son because he is both Father and Son. To unite having and being is only to unite your will with His, for He wills you Himself. And you will yourself to Him because, in your perfect understanding of Him, you know there is but One Will. Yet when you attack any part of God and His Kingdom, your understanding is not perfect, and what you will is therefore lost to you.

17 Healing thus becomes a lesson in understanding , and the more you practice it, the better teacher and learner you become. If you have denied truth, what better witnesses to its reality could you have than those who have been healed by it? But be sure to count yourself among them, for in your willingness to join them is your healing accomplished. Every miracle which you accomplish speaks to you of the Fatherhood of God. Every healing thought which you accept, either from your brother or in your own mind, teaches you that you are God's Son. In every hurtful thought you hold, wherever you perceive it, lies the denial of God's Fatherhood and your Sonship.

18 And denial is as total as love. You cannot deny part of yourself because the remainder will seem to be unintegrated and therefore without meaning. And being without meaning to you, you will not understand it. To deny meaning must be to fail to understand. You can heal only yourself, for only God's Son needs healing. He needs it because he does not understand himself and therefore knows not what he does. Having forgotten his will, he does not know what he wants.

19 Healing is a sign that he wants to make whole . And this willingness opens his own ears to the Voice of the Holy Spirit, whose message is wholeness. He will enable you to go far beyond the healing you would undertake, for beside your small willingness to make whole, He will lay His own complete Will and make yours whole. What can the Son of God not accomplish with the Fatherhood of God in him? And yet the invitation must come from you, for you have surely learned that whom you invite as your guest will abide with you.

20 The Holy Spirit cannot speak to an unwelcoming host because He will not be heard . The Eternal Guest remains, but His Voice grows faint in alien company. He needs your protection, but only because your care is a sign that you want Him. Think like Him ever so slightly, and the little spark becomes a blazing light that fills your mind so that He becomes your only Guest. Whenever you ask the ego to enter, you lessen His welcome. He will remain, but you have allied yourself against Him. Whatever journey you choose to take, He will go with you, waiting. You can safely trust His patience, for He cannot leave a part of God. Yet you need far more than patience.

21 You will never rest until you know your function and fulfill it , for only in this can your will and your Father's be wholly joined. To have Him is to be like Him, and He has given Himself to you. You who have God must be as God, for His function became yours with His gift. Invite this knowledge back into your minds, and let nothing that will obscure it enter. The Guest whom God sent you will teach you how to do this if you but recognize the little spark and are willing to let it grow. Your willingness need not be perfect because His is . If you will merely offer Him a little place, He will lighten it so much that you will gladly extend it. And by this extending, you will begin to remember creation.

22 Would you be hostage to the ego or host to God? You will accept only whom you invite. You are free to determine who shall be your guest and how long he shall remain with you. Yet this is not real freedom, for it still depends on how you see it. The Holy Spirit is there , although He cannot help you without your invitation, and the ego is nothing whether you invite it in or not. Real freedom depends on welcoming reality , and of your guests, only He is real. Know, then, who abides with you merely by recognizing what is there already and do not be satisfied with imaginary comforters, for the Comforter of God is in you.

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A Course in Miracles
TEXT

CHAPTER 10
God and the Ego

IV. From Darkness to Light

23 When you are weary, remember you have hurt yourself. Your Comforter will rest you, but you cannot. You do not know how , for if you did you could never have grown weary. Unless you have hurt yourselves, you could never suffer in any way, for that is not God's Will for His Son. Pain is not of Him, for He knows no attack and His peace surrounds you silently. God is very quiet, for there is no conflict in Him. Conflict is the root of all evil, for being blind, it does not see whom it attacks. Yet it always attacks the Son of God, and the Son of God is you .

24 God's Son is indeed in need of comfort, for he knows not what he does, believing his will is not his own. The Kingdom is his, and yet he wanders homelessly. At home in God, he is lonely, and amid all his brothers, he is friendless. Would God let this be real if He did not will to be alone Himself? And if your will is His, it cannot be true of you because it is not true of Him. Oh, my children, if you knew what God wills for you, your joy would be complete! And what He wills has happened, for it was always true.

25 When the light comes and you have said, "God's Will is mine," you will see such beauty that you will know it is not of you. Out of your joy you will create beauty in His name, for your joy could no more be contained than His. The bleak little world will vanish into nothingness, and your heart will be so filled with joy that it will leap into Heaven and into the Presence of God. I cannot tell you what this will be like, for your hearts are not ready. Yet I can tell you and remind you often that what God wills for Himself He wills for you , and what He wills for you is yours.

26 The way is not hard, but it is very different. Yours is the way of pain, of which God knows nothing. That way is hard indeed and very lonely. Fear and grief are your guests, and they go with you and abide with you on the way. But the dark journey is not the way of God's Son. Walk in light, and do not see the dark companions, for they are not fit companions for the Son of God, who was created of light and in light. The Great Light always surrounds you and shines out from you. How can you see the dark companions in a light such as this? If you see them , it is only because you are denying the light. But deny them instead, for the light is here, and the way is clear.

27 God hides nothing from His Son, even though His Son would hide himself. Yet the Son of God cannot hide his glory, for God wills him to be glorious and gave him the light that shines in him. You will never lose your way, for God leads you. When you wander, you but undertake a journey which is not real. The dark companions, the dark way, are all illusions. Turn toward the light, for the little spark in you is part of a light so great that it can sweep you out of all darkness forever. For your Father is your Creator, and you are like Him.

28 The children of light cannot abide in darkness, for darkness is not in them. Do not be deceived by the dark comforters, and never let them enter the mind of God's Son, for they have no place in His temple. When you are tempted to deny Him, remember that there are no other gods that you can place before Him, and accept His Will for you in peace. For you cannot accept it otherwise.

29 Only God's Comforter can comfort you. In the quiet of His temple, He waits to give you the peace that is yours. Give His peace that you may enter the temple and find it waiting for you. But be holy in the Presence of God, or you will not know that you are there. For what is unlike God cannot enter His Mind because it was not His Thought and therefore does not belong to Him. And your minds must be as pure as His if you would know what belongs to you . Guard carefully His temple, for He Himself dwells there and abides in peace. You cannot enter God's Presence with the dark companions beside you, but you also cannot enter alone.

30 All your brothers must enter with you, for until you have accepted them, you cannot enter. For you cannot understand Wholeness unless you are whole, and no part of the Son can be excluded if he would know the Wholeness of his Father. In your mind, you can accept the whole Sonship and bless it with the light your Father gave it. Then you will be worthy to dwell in the temple with Him because it is your will not to be alone. God blessed His Son forever. If you will bless him in time, you will be in eternity. Time cannot separate you from God if you use it on behalf of the eternal.

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A Course in Miracles
WORKBOOK

Part I
Review III

1 Our third review begins today. We will review two of the last 20 ideas each day until we have reviewed them all. We will observe a special format for these practice periods which you are urged to follow as closely as you can. We understand, of course, that it may be impossible for you to undertake what is suggested here as optimal each day and every hour of the day.

2 Learning will not be hampered when you miss a practice period because it is impossible at the appointed time. Nor is it necessary that you make excessive efforts to be sure that you catch up in terms of numbers. Rituals are not our aim and would defeat our learning goal.

3 But learning will be hampered when you skip a practice period because you are unwilling to devote the time to it which you are asked to give. Do not deceive yourself in this. Unwillingness can be most carefully concealed behind a cloak of situations you cannot control. Learn to distinguish situations which are poorly suited to your practicing from those which you establish to uphold a camouflage for your unwillingness.

4 Those practice periods which you have lost because you did not want to do them for whatever reason should be done as soon as you have changed your mind about your goal. You are unwilling to cooperate in practicing salvation only if it interferes with goals you hold more dear. When you withdraw the value given them, allow your practice periods to be replacements for your litanies to them. They gave you nothing. But your practice periods offer you everything. Accept their offering and be at peace.

5 The format you should use for these reviews is this: devote five minutes twice a day or longer if you would prefer to contemplating the ideas assigned. Read over the ideas and comments which are written first in each day's exercises. Then begin to think about them quietly, letting your mind relate them to your needs, your seeming problems, and all your concerns.

6 Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you. What can you trust but what is in your mind? Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail. The wisdom of your mind will come to your assistance. Give it direction at the start, then lean back in quiet faith, and let it use the ideas you have given it as they were given you.

7 You have been given them in perfect trust, in perfect confidence that you would use them well, in perfect faith that you would understand their messages and use them for yourself. Offer them to your mind in that same trust and confidence and faith. It will not fail. It is the Holy Spirit's chosen means for your salvation. And with His trust merits yours as well.

8 We emphasize the benefits to you if you devote the first five minutes of the day to your review and also give the last five minutes of your waking day to it. If this cannot be done, at least try to divide them so you undertake one in the morning, and the other in the hour just before you go to sleep.

9 The exercises to be done throughout the day are equally important and perhaps of even greater value. You have been inclined to do the exercises and then go on to other things, without applying what you learned to them. As a result, your learning has had little reinforcement, and you have not given it the opportunity to prove its worth to you.

10 Here is another chance to use it well. In these reviews we stress the need to let your learning not lie idly by between your longer practice periods. Attempt to give your daily two ideas a brief but serious review each hour. Use one on the hour and the other one a half an hour later. You need not give more than just a moment to each one.

11 Repeat it, and allow your mind to rest a little time in silence and in peace. Then turn to other things, but try to keep the thought with you and let it serve to help you keep your peace throughout the day. If you are shaken, think of it again. These practice periods are planned to help you form the habit of applying what you learn each day to everything you do.

12 Do not repeat it and then lay it down. Its usefulness is limitless to you. And it is meant to serve you in all ways, all times and places, and whenever you need help of any kind. Try, then, to take it with you in the business of the day and make it holy, worthy of God's Son, acceptable to God and to your Self.

13 Each day's review assignment will conclude with a restatement of the thought to use each hour and the one to be applied on each half hour as well. Forget them not. This second chance with each of these ideas will bring such large advances that we come from these reviews with learning gains so great that we begin again on solid ground.

14 Do not forget how little you have learned. Do not forget how much you can learn now. Do not forget your Father's need of you as you review these thoughts He gave to you.

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Lesson 116
[Review of Lessons 101-102]

1 For morning and evening review:

[101] God's Will for me is perfect happiness.

2 God's Will is perfect happiness for me. And I can suffer but from the belief there is another will apart from His.

[102] I share God's Will for happiness for me.

3 I share my Father's Will for me, His Son. What He has given me is all I want. What He has given me is all there is.

4 On the hour:

5 God's Will for me is perfect happiness.

6 On the half hour:

7 I share God's Will for happiness for me.

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Sarah's Reflections

Lesson 116
Review III ~ Lessons 101-102

God's Will for you is perfect happiness. Go deep within to connect with the source of that happiness. Choose His Will rather than your own. His Will for us is that we would know who we are as the One Self. The condition of this Self is happiness. Happiness is natural. To be restored by His grace to our true nature of perfect happiness is our goal. Our part is essential to His plan for our happiness. Jesus tells us that our joy must be complete to let His plan be understood by those to whom He sends us. They will see their function in our shining faces and hear God calling to them in our happy laughter.

This happiness, this joy, and this happy laughter come from deep within you and are available in the holy instant. We are reminded in this Lesson that happiness is in us and always present. It is not something we have to look for. If we don't experience it, it is only because we are blocking it with our obsessive thinking. It is a question of where we want to put our focus. If we focus on our grievances, judgments, and anger, we block the joy that is there. When we tenaciously hold the belief that we are right about the way we see, we refuse to make room for joy. It takes great willingness to deeply question our thoughts, but unless we do, we stay stuck in being right and not allowing happiness in.

"Just as your light increases every light that shines in Heaven, so your joy on earth calls to all minds to let their sorrows go, and take their place beside you in God's plan. God's messengers are joyous, and their joy heals sorrow and despair. They are the proof that God wills perfect happiness for all who will accept their Father's gifts as theirs. " (W.100.4.2-4)

Release your sadness today. "Sadness is the sign that you would play another part, instead of what has been assigned to you by God. Thus do you fail to show the world how great the happiness He wills for you. And so you do not recognize that it is yours." (W.100.5.3-5) Joy is your function here. "If you are sad, your part is unfulfilled, and all the world is thus deprived of joy, along with you." (W.100.6.2)

We all have hidden areas of the mind that sabotage our happiness. They include dark stories we tell, strategies we use to compensate for pain, failures we experience, and guilt we hold onto. They are places of self-attack and self-hatred that we need to see if healing is to occur. There may even be stories that come from deeper levels of our minds (past lives). I have forayed into this area for myself and have uncovered some strategies I have been using against myself that when seen, could be released. I saw my relationship to my father from a past life that helped me in my healing of this relationship. I can’t verify the truth of it, but it led me to an understanding of how the relationship was set up. Whatever we do in uncovering the layers of the mind that are kept hidden from us is helpful.

We are also encouraged to look at the idols we look to for happiness that we have substituted for God. These may include drugs, food, money, lust, power, romance, suffering, illness, and martyrdom, among other things. Clearly, this is our misinformed, convoluted way of trying to find happiness and compensate for our pain. These ego strategies all have a purpose in our lives, but while they aim for happiness and safety in the world, they only bring more pain, which is kept hidden from our awareness. The purpose they all serve is to keep us invested in the world and in specialness, but they fail to bring us what we really want, which is peace and happiness.

We first need to uncover and discover our mistaken strategies so we can make a new choice. We think our strategies are protecting us and will get us what we want, but they lead to heartbreak. The ego is threatened at having its strategies unveiled. We can see this in the defenses we set up to protect ourselves. What is required is to be willing to look at these strategies without self judgment. Yes, it does take great courage and honesty because the ego is invested in keeping us from seeing what it is up to. This is precisely why we need the help of our friends, companions, healers, and advisors. These are the people who do not believe our version of the story.

Looking at our defenses and allowing ourselves to be vulnerable breaks the sacred bond we have made with the ego. It tells us not to look, but Jesus is showing us that it is in our own interests to break this sacred covenant we have with the ego. In fact, it is the only way we can know the peace and happiness always available to us. It requires commitment and willingness to stay vigilant, watch our minds, and keep bringing the darkness to the light. Spirit does the rest. Our part is simply to uncover what is going on in our minds. Behind these thoughts that we defend so vigorously is pure peace and joy.

True happiness is not about making ourselves happy, manufacturing an emotion, nor trying to have a positive attitude; nor is our happiness based on things going well in our external life. It is an inner condition. It is a reflection of God's Love.

Where does our suffering come from if not from God? It comes from our separate will. It comes from the belief that we have separated from God. It is the ego, but the ego is not real. It has no power. We made it up, so we can release it with the help of the Holy Spirit. When we externalize it, we think it is the devil and that we are possessed. When we think it is a power outside ourselves, we are in fear. Recognizing that it is a decision of the mind, we can choose to withdraw our investment in it. The ego is only strong because of our belief in it. It lives on borrowed time. When the decision-making mind withdraws belief from the ego, it no longer exists. This is about withdrawing investment in our thoughts. The thoughts will continue, but when we lose interest in them, we withdraw power from them.

For the ego to continue to have power in our lives, it needs to keep us unaware. "For still deeper than the ego's foundation, and much stronger than it will ever be, is your intense and burning love of God, and His for you." (T.13.III.2.8) (ACIM OE T.12.III.12) The ego can't allow us to discover this love, for that would be its demise. The demise of the ego is our awakening to our Self, which is the reality of who we really are---changeless, limitless and eternally happy.

Let's review briefly the instructions we are given for our practice. Twice a day for five minutes each time and preferably longer, the first thing in the morning and last thing at night, we take time in meditation to reflect on the Lessons, " God's Will for me is perfect happiness. God's Will is perfect happiness for me. And I can suffer but from the belief there is another will apart from His." (W.116.(101).1.1-3) "I share God's Will for happiness for me. I share my Father's Will for me, His Son. What He has given me is all I want. What He has given me is all there is." (W.116.(102).2.1-4)

"And then begin to think about them [these ideas], while letting your mind relate them to your needs, your seeming problems and all your concerns." (W. Review III.5.3) We are basically letting related thoughts come to address any need, problem, or concern that we bring to this practice. Be willing to look at the thoughts blocking your happiness and bring them to the light of Truth. Now let the thoughts come up from your right mind, without your effort, by simply allowing them to emerge on their own. They are providing you guidance for your problem in light of this Lesson. We are being provided with wisdom in how to perceive any need, problem, or concern that we bring to this practice. As thoughts come up for me, I find it is like a form of helpful self-talk where I remind myself of the truth. I remind myself that the power is in me to choose not to listen to the ego. Such related thoughts will help in making the Lesson more meaningful to you as you keep telling yourself the truth.

"Place the ideas within your mind, and let it use them as it chooses. Give it faith that it will use them wisely, being helped in its decisions by the One Who gave the thoughts to you." (W.RIII.6.1-2) "Have faith, in these reviews, the means the Holy Spirit uses will not fail." (W.RIII.6.4)

Remember to bring the idea to any perceived needs, problems, or concerns that arise during the day. Whenever you are not at peace, apply the idea to the upset. "Think honestly what you have thought that God would not have thought, and what you have not thought that God would have you think." (T.4.IV.2.4) (ACIM OE T.4.V.57)

Today, you might want to watch for times when you are missing the practices and deceiving yourself about the other activities and goals that you are finding more important. Recognize that this is resistance. I find I need to be very honest with myself if I am to make progress in my healing. The goals we give great attention to in our lives offer us nothing while practicing the Lessons offer us everything. How much do we buy this? Doing the Lessons diligently gives us, "This second chance with each of these ideas will bring such large advances that we come from these reviews with learning gains so great we will continue on more solid ground, with firmer footsteps and with stronger faith." (W.RIII.12.3)

Love and blessings, Sarah

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